The wealth of architecture in Barcelona goes far beyond the most prolific creators…. Humankind cannot live on modernism alone! Here are some of the unique buildings that are a must-see during your visit to the city.
Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya
The library was founded in 1907 and was located in the Palau de la Generalitat. It wasn’t until 1939 that the institution was moved to its current location, the old Hospital del Sant Pau i de la Santa Creu de Barcelona. It was built between the 15th and 18th centuries and is one of the most significant Gothic complexes in Catalonia.
Les Drassanes Reials
Created by Peter III of Aragon at the end of the 13th century, the shipyard was devoted to the construction and maintenance of the Catalan-Aragonese Crown’s galleys. In the 19th century it became the Armoury and since 1941 it has housed Barcelona’s Maritime Museum. Gothic style in all its splendour!
La Torre Agbar
This was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and is owned by the Catalan water company. Nouvel was inspired by the legacy of Gaudí and the mountains of Montserrat to create this impressive 142 metre tall building that has changed Barcelona’s skyline.
Pabellón Mies Van der Rohe
Mies Van der Rohe built the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exhibition, not as a gallery, but as a reception building. The building introduced modern rationalist architecture, revolutionising the use of materials. The simplicity of its design highlights the marble and the expressiveness of the George Kolbe sculpture.
This is possibly one of the buildings in Barcelona that has created most controversy. It was designed by Ricardo Bofill, whose intention was to build a monumental vertical neighbourhood and at the same time transform the factory’s old deposits into his home/studio. Its futuristic appearance is truly striking.
The Barcelona headquarters of Gustavo Gili, an editorial company specialising in the world of design, art and architecture, can be found in the heart of the Eixample neighbourhood. It is housed in a rationalist building designed by Joaquim Gili and Francesc Bassó, who were greatly influenced by the GATPAC and other artists such as Bruno Zevi.
Fundació Joan Miró
In this case, the connection between the content and the structure is absolute. The building is the work of Josep Lluís Sert, a great friend of Joan Miró. He created an accessible, light and airy space, with huge archways and white walls. Inside, over 100,000 works by the artist from Barcelona are on display.